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Old 09-21-2017, 08:31 AM   #1
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BIRD Big Boy system explanation

Had some issues with the entire coach 12volt system getting shorted out which is all fixed now. Mostly fuses blown.

But in the process as this coach is new to us I had a few things I was certain were not working correctly. First I was not sure if the Big Boy (BB) solenoid was suppose to be humming or not. I asked the questions on this forum and got some good responses but I wanted to know why is it humming. Second, the BB was engaged all the time sending voltage across the BB as if the booster button was engaged all the time.

Not sure of what to do next I ended up changing out the BB, the BIRD and the relay. As these would have received the brunt of the short circuiting I figured for the price it was better safe than sorry so just change them out. After changing out all these parts I was still getting the hum and the batteries being tied together that was for about 5 minutes then it finally disengaged on it's own and seemed to be working as I understood the system. Which in itself made no sense to me. What just happened?

So I called Intellitec customer service this is actually handled by another company. If you want to know about how your system works.....Call them they explain it very simply and easy to understand.

What I learned.
-The system is intuitive.
-The BB is suppose to hum if either or both sets of batteries are on that is how it is able to go from dead state to being able to run 200 amps continuous to 1250 amps monetary when the boost is on and not burn itself up after several uses.
-The BIRD will engage the BB tying the batteries together by itself for various reasons mostly caused by the amount of voltage in the two sets of batteries both high and low can activate it. At a certain level the BB will engage to allow one set to help charge the other it is just maximizing the available charging from whatever system is sending voltage. It does not have to have the boost button on to engage. This is where I was getting mixed up. I was under the impression the sole purpose of the BB was to tie the batteries together to start the coach if the chassis batteries went low. Which is not the case.
-The BIRD when "first" installed sometimes has to what they call burp itself, in other words it learns your system and adjusts itself to accommodate. This was the explanation I was looking as to why after I installed all new parts it was still not working correctly but after 5 minutes it was. The "burp" put it into functioning correctly mode.
-When working correctly there will be between 3 and 4 volts across the two small terminals when in idle state. This is intentional.

That's what I learned and now I know how another system in the coach works.

Best Regards
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what the BB is or if I have one? I do have a Trombetta Solenoid if that's what you mean? I have the BIRD & am in the process of looking to replace it for the 3rd time in 2 years? I also called Intellitec last year when the 2nd one failed. I was under the impression this part switched between charging the coach batteries with the chassis batteries when one or the others voltage dropped. When this part fails, my chassis batteries stop charging. I am hoping someone out there knows of a different part manufacturer that does the same thing. I'm over it & on a mission to find something more reliable.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasdaqsam View Post
Had some issues with the entire coach 12volt system getting shorted out which is all fixed now. Mostly fuses blown.

But in the process as this coach is new to us I had a few things I was certain were not working correctly. First I was not sure if the Big Boy (BB) solenoid was suppose to be humming or not. I asked the questions on this forum and got some good responses but I wanted to know why is it humming. Second, the BB was engaged all the time sending voltage across the BB as if the booster button was engaged all the time.

Not sure of what to do next I ended up changing out the BB, the BIRD and the relay. As these would have received the brunt of the short circuiting I figured for the price it was better safe than sorry so just change them out. After changing out all these parts I was still getting the hum and the batteries being tied together that was for about 5 minutes then it finally disengaged on it's own and seemed to be working as I understood the system. Which in itself made no sense to me. What just happened?

So I called Intellitec customer service this is actually handled by another company. If you want to know about how your system works.....Call them they explain it very simply and easy to understand.

What I learned.
-The system is intuitive.
-The BB is suppose to hum if either or both sets of batteries are on that is how it is able to go from dead state to being able to run 200 amps continuous to 1250 amps monetary when the boost is on and not burn itself up after several uses.
-The BIRD will engage the BB tying the batteries together by itself for various reasons mostly caused by the amount of voltage in the two sets of batteries both high and low can activate it. At a certain level the BB will engage to allow one set to help charge the other it is just maximizing the available charging from whatever system is sending voltage. It does not have to have the boost button on to engage. This is where I was getting mixed up. I was under the impression the sole purpose of the BB was to tie the batteries together to start the coach if the chassis batteries went low. Which is not the case.
-The BIRD when "first" installed sometimes has to what they call burp itself, in other words it learns your system and adjusts itself to accommodate. This was the explanation I was looking as to why after I installed all new parts it was still not working correctly but after 5 minutes it was. The "burp" put it into functioning correctly mode.
-When working correctly there will be between 3 and 4 volts across the two small terminals when in idle state. This is intentional.

That's what I learned and now I know how another system in the coach works.

Best Regards
Thanks for the writeup !

There are a few more explanations (with some variations depending on P/N of BIRD) here on the Forum.

The 3-4 vdc you referenced depends on P/N, revision, and which solenoid is used ... all are similar in operation.
The BIRD initially picks the Big Boy/Trombetta/solenoid with 12vdc and then reduces that voltage to the minimum necessary to keep the solenoid picked (hold voltage). This hold voltage varies from about 4 - 7vdc. That reduced voltage reduces heat and provides longer life to the solenoid. The Boost button shortcuts the BIRD function and immediately picks the solenoid to connect Chassis and House banks. The Boost button does not provide reduced voltage and should not be engaged for long periods.

There are a bunch of devices that perform similar functions ... no shortage of acronyms.

BTW, if you want to read some more stuff regarding my battle with a BIRD and a solar charger conflict:

Yet another Intellitec BIRD question(s)
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:36 PM   #4
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BIRD Big Boy system explanation

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepLuvr View Post
I'm not sure what the BB is or if I have one? I do have a Trombetta Solenoid if that's what you mean? I have the BIRD & am in the process of looking to replace it for the 3rd time in 2 years? I also called Intellitec last year when the 2nd one failed. I was under the impression this part switched between charging the coach batteries with the chassis batteries when one or the others voltage dropped. When this part fails, my chassis batteries stop charging. I am hoping someone out there knows of a different part manufacturer that does the same thing. I'm over it & on a mission to find something more reliable.


Here are some ideas.

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Old 09-23-2017, 03:41 PM   #5
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I think that Birp you refer to is the D in BIRD.. Delay that is. Bi-directional-relay-delay.

The delay gives a bit of time for the charging system to stabilize. That is for example, starting the engine pulls a big bucket of electrons out and refilling it puts a huge load on the alternator. The delay gives the alternator a couple of minutes to stabilize and start filling the engine batteries before bringing the coach batteries online.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepLuvr View Post
I'm not sure what the BB is or if I have one? I do have a Trombetta Solenoid if that's what you mean? I have the BIRD & am in the process of looking to replace it for the 3rd time in 2 years? I also called Intellitec last year when the 2nd one failed. I was under the impression this part switched between charging the coach batteries with the chassis batteries when one or the others voltage dropped. When this part fails, my chassis batteries stop charging. I am hoping someone out there knows of a different part manufacturer that does the same thing. I'm over it & on a mission to find something more reliable.
BB is short for Big Boy ... which is a trade name just like Trombetta. They all fall under the umbrella of solenoid or heavy duty relay.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
Thanks for the writeup !

There are a few more explanations (with some variations depending on P/N of BIRD) here on the Forum.

The 3-4 vdc you referenced depends on P/N, revision, and which solenoid is used ... all are similar in operation.
The BIRD initially picks the Big Boy/Trombetta/solenoid with 12vdc and then reduces that voltage to the minimum necessary to keep the solenoid picked (hold voltage). This hold voltage varies from about 4 - 7vdc. That reduced voltage reduces heat and provides longer life to the solenoid. The Boost button shortcuts the BIRD function and immediately picks the solenoid to connect Chassis and House banks. The Boost button does not provide reduced voltage and should not be engaged for long periods.

There are a bunch of devices that perform similar functions ... no shortage of acronyms.

BTW, if you want to read some more stuff regarding my battle with a BIRD and a solar charger conflict:

Yet another Intellitec BIRD question(s)
Great info. I want to know as much about this system as possible.

Question if you know. The reason we sometimes hear of chassis batteries going dead after a period of time from an obvious draw of some kind is this because the BIRD will not switch over to charging the chassis batteries if the coach batteries never reach I believe the guy told me 13.7 volts. For whatever reason. Weak batteries, stray draw or something on. As that your understanding as well?


Thank you!
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
This looks like a viable alternative
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nasdaqsam View Post
This looks like a viable alternative


Here is another one.
Magnum Energy ME-SBC Smart Battery Combiner

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007HS0UYO..._fWKYzbPGHH87N


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Old 09-26-2017, 05:49 PM   #10
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Here is how I learned about the B.I.R.D.
Another dead chassis battery/not charging thread
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